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Please help!! New baby in lockdown VERY unsettled(29 Posts)
I'm a new mum - right in the middle of lockdown! And I'm finding things really tough. My baby is 4 weeks old and the first week was bliss, we've had a few problems with feeding, I tried BF but this wasn't filling my little one so on the ward the midwife suggested formula, he was happy and full so I stuck with it with the mindset of happy baby happy mum. Firstly on Aptamil 1 which worked well to which he then became very unsettled, my dr suggested Aptamil comfort & infacol which turned his poo green, horribly egg gut churning smelling and he had such painful gas which woke him every 30 minutes from being put down. My health visitor was adamant he has a cows milk allergy as all symptoms pointed to that - arching back whilst feeding, scrunching legs, rash on face, painful gas/bowel movements, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, crying in pain and unsettled. We were prescribed nutramigen LGG 1 on Monday which made a huge improvement but I'm starting to see the same pattern emerging again - bowels and gas fine - feeding is so challenging, he again scrunches legs, arches back, difficult to wind unless using infacol but still screams half way through bottle until I give him a break, rock and burp him and then try again and again till he eventually calms and accepts the bottle. Using MAM slow flow teats as new formula very thin. My dr wants to trial for 2 weeks but I am so exhausted and so is my little one. As a new mum I don't know if this sounds normal? We have tried pedal legs, tummy massages, walks, bath - he is very settled when I walk him around the house. I do have a sling and that works fine but I do want to enable him to settle in his cot/basket during the day so I'm able to get a nap too. My dr also suggested giving him baby Gaviscon but HV wants to trial milk first before giving 2 things so we know what is working and what's not. I feel like I can't enjoy my baby and so guilty I feel that way, I have spoken to my HV, family, friends and partner and I know time isn't my own anymore but I can't even get things done like make tea or clean the house and it's really getting me down. Sorry if that sounds so negative, he's an IVF baby we've waited 4 years for and I just want him to be okay and to enjoy a day with him rather than be nervous come feed time.
I hope someone can give me a little guidance or just reassurance.
I can't help with the feeds, but sounds like you're getting good support from your HV with that. Trying one thing at a time sounds sensible.
Wet not enjoying time with your baby- that's ok!! It is sometimes more than a bit shit. Doesn't matter how longed for your little person was, it is tough. Don't feel guilty, just no that this is all a phase and there are better things to come.
Can your DP help with some feeds so it's not all on you? If it's CMPA there are lots of Facebook support groups, it may be worth asking for advice on some of them also?
The HVs advice about trying one thing at a time seems sensible rather than throwing everything at him. Formula can be tough on their little tummies, constipation and painful wind are fairly common with formula feeding and it can be trail and error to find the right one without CMPA.
Some babies just don't want to be put down or settle away from you, read up on the 4th trimester, it's totally natural that they want to stay with you where it's familiar over being left alone in a Moses basket/cot. At this age their sense of object permanence isn't developed, they have no idea you continue to exist away from them.
It's also ok to feel overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted and anything else! Don't worry about not getting things done, get your dh to make up a lunch, snacks and drinks you can quickly grab when you need them, you can settle you and baby on the couch or in bed and binge watch tv or nap.
The newborn days are tough. They really are, but it gets better.
Hi OP. Second PP above ref trying one thing at a time so you know what works. Another thing you could try is Colief? It breaks down lactose and makes things easier to digest. You mix it with the formula.
I also just wanted to say im also a new mum of a 7 week old, and I found your stage really challenging too. I really didnt like it and everyone kept just saying 'its get better', but it really does. Around 6 weeks was a turning point for me - my son became easier to get to sleep, feeds got better and he started smiling. Hes also a formula fed baby after attempting BF in hospital and for a week after, but he lost 10% of his body weight in that week and was so unsettled - so a bit like you I gave him a bottle of formula and he was a different baby entirely. I also went through a stage of him vomiting a lot, but that got better with time too. I also have to use Infacol as hes a windy baby too, but thats also got better with time. Its not quite so bad now and he doesnt seem in quite so much pain from gas.
It all seems rubbish now, but it really does get a lot better.
Poor you. That sounds really tough. I've been worrying about how hard it must be to be a ftm with a newborn in lockdown. My first was like this. The sling was a godsend. I could make a cup of tea and do other stuff and she would settle. I know that doesn't help with the napping for you but maybe just a break from the upset would also do you good. Could you hand over to your partner after work? Get a really early night and some rest. I don't know anything about cmpa but sure you will get some good advice. It's hard because we have so many images of what parenthood is like and the beginning can be a nightmare. It won't last, you'll get through and you will enjoy your baby. Take it one day at a time
Id also like to add that ive only just started to enjoy my baby, 7 weeks down the line, and I feel like thats ok. A lot of mums I speak to say this when speaking to them one on one, but I dont think its widely spoken about enough. Then this leads to parents thinking they're failures, or not cut out for parenthood because they think they should instantly enjoy their newborn.
Before now it was more like an endurance event for me.
Just wanted to say I hated the first 12 weeks. Now my dd is 16 weeks and so much more fun :-) hang in there. It does get better!
Also, my baby had similar symptoms and is ebf... It resolved around 12 weeks (although no rash or wheezing).
Maybe your baby just isn't that hungry!
I did have to top up formula when we were admitted to hospital a few days after birth for jaundice and low weight but after four days if that we stopped and I had a lot more milk coming in.
I think maternity wards are far too quick to suggest switching to formula.
I had trouble bf too but I stuck with it and my boy really only every feeds for 5 mins. I think in 8 months he has fed twice for 20mins and that's it!
We shouldn't live life via a schedule someone else has written imo. All babies are different
Thanks so much for all of your replies, they really are so supportive. I think it's very difficult in this situation as I'd love for someone to sit with me and say "oh that's normal he's doing this because of..." the HV said she feels frustrated as they're not allowed here but I've suggested a video call which we're planning in while I feed.
Thank you @majesticallyawkward I didn't know this but will be something I will keep in mind. He was breech and I always say he likes to snuggle on my chest because that's how he was for 9 months 🥰 we also share the same birthday!
Your words of positivity really have helped me this morning and it's nice to know I'm not feeling alone - social media is very vamped up with the perfect newborn and I feel pure guilt for finding it too overwhelming. DH has been fantastic and we do share the feeds along with having a break for ourselves.
I know having a baby isn't easy but hats off to all you mammas - you truly are doing amazing! X
Honestly @Hopingforbabyd my little guy is 6 months now and has only just started accepting being put down, all naps and sleeping is still on/touching me though. It's frustrating because sometimes I just want to do things without a baby attached to me, or sleep on my own terms. You just find ways to work with it as you get to know each other.
I think it's difficult with your first baby because it's all unknown, at least with 2nd+ you know there's light at the end of the tunnel.
It sounds like you were badly advised with the breastfeeding.
My DD was like this, I ended up giving up dairy which solved the problem. Before that they gave me reflux meds such as gaviscon and ranitidine, which you could ask for?
Don’t worry about the not putting down thing, this is just completely normal. You can’t cuddle your baby too much or ‘make a rod for your own back’.
@majesticallyawkward thank you for being so honest! It's so hard to find someone who will tell me the "real life" truths. I love cuddling with him, I can't get enough but sometimes I just would like a little routine for myself as I'm very conscious coming out of lockdown it'll all be a bit overwhelming all over again. He has found his little voice bless him and I'm coming to realise some noises are just him having a little moment, I'll always go to reassure him I'm still here but it is just getting to know each other. I'm just so worried I'm doing things wrong, or not doing things right. I look out for the feeding cues so not to over feed or miss the feed. I won't speak too soon but the night time come 7pm...😍🤞🏼 it's just the day he seems unsettled after 11am ish. I think I'm just worried he's in pain because he was before when maybe now how he's being is just so normal? X
@WafflesandPancakess thank you! I have carried so much mum guilt for not pursuing with BF and I felt with the current situation I didn't get a lot of support on the ward I wish I attempted it again when my milk came in, but I'll stay strong for little man. I've just got some infant gaviscon and giving first bottle of it, HV has advised to go ahead and give it a go 🤞🏼
Thank you for your kind words they really do help x
Firstly, congratulations on your baby! I too struggled with bf guilt - I stuck it out until four months until I crumbled, paid over the odds and took him to a (brilliant but expensive private) GP.
I am not a doctor. This is all my own experience, painstakingly researched. I hate to say it but the change one thing at a time advice is really the only way as otherwise it’s hard to know what has worked. And don’t worry, there are lots of things to try.
Second of all, CMPA goes hand in hand with gastro oesophageal reflux disease (what we mostly call reflux). If your little one isn’t experiencing sickness then it sounds as though this is what is referred to as silent reflux. Peak time for experiencing this is 5 weeks of age.
You’ve been prescribed Nutramigen LGG. This is actually hydrolysed formula (partially broken down Cow’s Milk Protein). You can push for Nutramigen Pureamino or Neocate. Word of warning, they are both vile smelling. Older babies need careful weaning onto them as it doesn’t taste very nice.
Gaviscon is a feed thickener. We tried this, it did not work. Made my son badly constipated. But that’s not the case for everyone and I would certainly give it a go.
If I were you, I would give Gaviscon 10 days to work. If no improvement (and look out for constipation) then go back and push for Nutramigen Pureamino or Neocate as it could be that the CMPA is more severe and your baby needs a formula with no cow’s milk protein in it.
Then, allow two more weeks for that to work. If no improvement still (and I know it might feel like a lifetime but it will pass promise), then I would push for ranitidine in the first instance. You can always go onto try medications like omeprazole.
My son wound up on a combo of Neocate for CMPA and Omeprazole for reflux as he struggled gaining weight and would scream for hours from 3-6am in pain with wind.
It sounds as though you have an excellent health visitor on your side so try to keep calm. And honestly as awful as it sounds I didn’t really bond with my son until he was six months old and we had cracked the formula medication combi as before that I was just so stressed about feeding him and him crying.
Feel free to PM me. It does get better promise.
@Hopingforbabyd if it's not all the time it might not be that he's that uncomfortable, when my dd had reflux as a baby it was horrific, she was in pain and vomiting all the time with no let up. Ever. Stick with the new milk and do what you're doing!
I think it's much better to be honest, we all struggle. And some babies are hard work! Sure some sleep like a dream and are no fuss (or so I'm told) but some don't sleep, won't be put down, are hard to settle, struggle to feed and a million other things. As parents we do whatever we have to to get through it. Their little brains are expanding all the time and new things are opening up to them, check out wonder weeks if you haven't already, nevermind wind/reflux/boredom/teething
@Chedfords thank you so much for such a detailed reply! I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for the signs and also persist and give things a good go. We're spacing his gaviscon today to see how feeds with and without go. So far this afternoon he has had 2 really long naps which is a first, I know babies do fuss and wake and maybe cry for all sorts of reasons - but this has been a huge step for me and DH. I feel I've cried everyday because I'm so exhausted and just want him to be okay. The only way he would settle in the day before was to walk round the house with him, singing and talking to him and he would then scrunch his legs up and cry but the cry was different, very high pitched and he wouldn't let up for 2/3 hours. Sometimes he would exhaust himself and nod off only to wake scrunched up/back arching again.
I'm hoping the hydrolysed milk does help, I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure he gets some calm. He projectile vomits on occasion and whenever I lay him down after 20 minutes upright after feed he is sick a small amount. I just feel so sorry for him. But today has been a better day! He's had 2 uninterrupted naps today and wakes nicely instead of squealing and scrunching up.
I'm hoping your son is okay and comfortable now - I'll drop you a pm update next week x
@majesticallyawkward thank you! Yes I have the wonderweeks app and know he's about to go through his first leap so I feel prepared to work with him and follow his lead. Bless your DD I do hope she's okay now. Thank you for reassuring me, you don't know how much it has really chivvied me up today. DH cared for baby today while I pottered around the house - I always think a tidy house is a tidy mind - I even had a bath and peaceful snuggles with little man after his bath and bottle. He's sleeping soundly now and no wake from paid so here's hoping 🤞🏼 x
Good luck OP! It really does get better, promise you. My son is now a happy, healthy 20 month old toddler so whilst it might feel like a lifetime to get there, you guys will get there.
I had this with my eldest Daughter. We tried a load of different formulas to try and help her but nothing would work. She had constant horrifically painful wind all day & night.
The doctor basically laughed me out the door when I took her in for some advice. We had no help and so we tried Aptamil lactose free milk and the change was immediate. The HV prescribed this in the end, however I do remember her saying we shouldn't have just put her on that with no advice. But as it worked, I certainly wasn't going to change it. She is only just able to eat dairy now at almost 3 years old.
I also have a 7 week old who wouldn't let me put her down for the first 4/5 weeks. I held her non stop and she would only sleep lying on my chest, but slowly she is getting there!! I think sometimes they just take a little bit of time. Hopefully the same with your little baby. Xxx
@Chedfords @arianwe thank you! Today has been a much better day, I took him to out of hours yesterday as he developed lots of pin prick spots and explained about him being unsettled and I too was laughed out the door and told infacol is a placebo. I've used infacol today with his feeds, sat him higher up than I normally would and made him take more breaks and fingers crossed so far so good. I've taken him off the gaviscon as he has a green mucousy poo and I felt this was unsettling him further. Today has been a good day, a few unsettled moments but we've paced round the house and settled him. The milk has stayed down! This mama is gonna get herself a nice bubble bath and persist with new milk and my instincts. Hope you're all having a lovely weekend & thanks again for the support - lockdown is feeling so lonely so it's nice to have the reassurance from you all xx
Just a little update. I scrapped the gaviscon as made babies poo green and mucousy. Stuck with the milk and infacol and fingers crossed we've had a lovely 4 days! 🤞🏼☺️
So pleased for you! Fingers absolutely crossed it continues 🤞
Hi (first time I am commenting so I hope this works!)
Firstly, I just want to say I have had a very similar experience. I so wanted to enjoy every second with my baby. But the truth is, the first few weeks were so, so hard. Not only were we in lockdown a few weeks after he was born, but my baby was not quite right. I just knew something was off. He too seemed in pain, gassy, mucus in his stools and filling his nappy several times a day, terrible dry and spotty skin on his cheeks, bloated belly. I also noticed he wanted to feed constantly (formula fed as no luck with breastfeeding unfortunately). I felt I was a terrible mum because he was overfeeding, but it was the only thing that comforted him. Then, a while after a feed he would go back to being uncomfortable again, wanting another feed.
I couldn't take it anymore. We weren't getting any sleep. He would grunt constantly through the night and wake up crying. It was terrible. I cried many times too! I ended up having a meltdown to HV.
I'd been to docs previously about his symptoms and was told babies cry and I would 'know' if baby had an allergy. I felt silly for even thinking he could have an allergy, but I just knew something wasn't right. Eventually, doctors prescribed nutramigen which has helped massively. Skin, mucus in nappy, grunting and gas has disappeared!
He had silent reflux, which was linked to allergy. He would feed constantly to soothe his acid reflux, but the formula didn't agree with him which made him feel poorly. The cyle continued! I am so pleased I kept going back to docs to get something done. I really couldn't cope anymore!
It's so hard being a new mum, especially during the pandemic when nobody can see your baby!
I hope everything is getting better with your little one 🌸
@PrincessBailey you got it spot on! That's just how my little one was. He too was put on nutramigen and the symptoms completely disappeared however they did return after 3 weeks, were now on neocate formula which is completely cows milk free and he's like a new baby! No symptoms at all no grunting or pain and we've been on it for almost 2 months now. He's due a blood test next month to make sure the CMPA isn't in his antibodies I'm hoping he's grown out of it and we can start to wean when the times right onto dairy. Thank you so much for your kind message, I too hope your little one (and you!) are now comfortable and you're enjoying it all just as you should be. If little one does develop even the slightest symptoms again push for the neocate milk. Apparently the cows milk is still present in nutramigen but just broken down, that's why my little one started to show signs again as it was building up. Keeping my fingers crossed you don't need to go down that route xx
That's really interesting that they can do a blood test!
Please can you let me know how you get on, and how you go about getting that.
I'd really like to introduce dairy, as I am advised by the dietician to not introduce it until he is about 1. But, like you, am hoping he has grown out of it!
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